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Deputy UN chief: “One Belt, One Road” Initiative Facilitates UN's Poverty Alleviation Plan

The 2016 Media Cooperation Forum on Belt and Road has opened today. In a keynote speech delivered at the opening ceremony, UN Under-Secretary-General Wu Hongbo says China's “One Belt, One Road” initiative has an important role to play in UN's 2030 Sustainable Development Plan. The UN 2030 Sustainable Development Plan is a key resolution to eradicate hunger and alleviate poverty among the member nations of the UN by the year 2030.

The deputy UN chief's address is as follows:

The honorable deputy chairman of the National People's Congress, Mr. Wang Chen, the honorable director-general of the People's Daily, Mr. Yang Zhenwu, Ladies and Gentlemen:

This year marks the first year in implementing the UN's 2030 Sustainable Development Plan, a UN resolution that was reached during the 2015 UN Sustainable Development Forum. The UN 2030 Plan has 17 broad goals and 169 sub-goals. The 2030 Plan is unprecedented in its ambition and extensive coverage. This grand action plan points out a clear direction for the world's sustainable development in the next 15 years. The gist of this action plan is resolution to eradicate hunger and alleviate poverty among the UN member states.

It is my conviction that the goal of this plan can be realized by this generation. The implementation of this plan will also be an unprecedented global effort, relying on the cooperation among different countries, regions and cities and towns. We will have to mobilize governments, the private sector, civic organizations, all the relevant UN organs and other resources in pushing through the implementation of the action plan. It has be an international effort in order to achieve sustainable development for all.

In light of this explanation, the “One Belt, One Road” initiative will make crucial contributions in the implementation of the UN 2030 Plan. The “One Belt, One Road” connects the three continents of Asia, Europe and Africa. It passes through 65 countries, whose population combined takes up 60 percent of the world total, whose gross domestic products combined account for 30 percent of the world total, and whose foreign trade put together make up 40 percent of the world total. Yet, the poor population, in particular those who are living with extreme poverty comprises half of the world total. Despite the fact that the UN 2030 Plan and the “One Belt, One Road” initiative differ substantially, especially in their respective scope of coverage, the two also have a shared vision and many shared principles.

The “One Belt, One Road” initiative is fundamentally in line with the objective and principles of the UN Charter. The core guiding principles of the “One Belt, One Road” initiative is mutual benefits, common development, common prosperity, peace, cooperation, openness, tolerance, mutual trust and mutual understanding. These values are neatly identical with those of the UN 2030 Plan.

In addition, the five objectives of the “One Belt, One Road” initiative, that is to say, the objectives of enhancing policy communication, expanding infrastructure connectivity, facilitating free trade, increasing the ease of capital flow and building a shared recognition of a common destiny among the peoples all correspond well with the 17 objectives of the UN 2030 action plan. For instance, the objective of expanding infrastructure connectivity means investment in building new infrastructure. And that is exactly what the first objective of the UN 2030 plan wants to do --- eradicate poverty. There is a popular saying in China, “pave the road for getting rich.” This Chinese wisdom has been confirmed by many economic theories and countless practices. That is investment in infrastructure will increase productivity, promote economic development and raise people's living standard. On the other hand, investment in infrastructure gives people access to better lifestyles and better education, thus fundamentally improves the quality of human resources.

As it was well articulated by President Xi in his meeting with the UN chief, moving forward the “One Belt, One Road” initiative is moving forward the UN 2030 Action Plan.

On my way of concluding this remark, I would like to wish this forum a great success. I would also like to thank the People's Daily for hosting this forum. I hope all the delegates enjoy a candid discussion here and walk out of the conference room enriched.

Thank you!